Excessive messiness can lead to stress and anxiety – yet many of us don’t know how to rid our homes of the clutter that causes such worry. Often, it’s not as easy as just picking up trash or unwanted items and throwing them away – much of what we accumulate over the years holds sentimental value and fond memories and can be difficult to part with.
So how do you decide what stays and what goes? How do you determine which items hold real value, and which are just taking up space?
There are several theories on the matter, but we’ve researched three of the most popular. Below is a brief synopsis of each, so you can decide whether or not they’ll work for you.
Created by organizing consultant Marie Kondo, the KonMarie method promises to greatly simplify your life. How? Clean your house once and never do it again. Really!
Marie says that traditional ideas on tidying up – such as throwing out one old item for every new piece you bring into the house or storing out-of-season clothing in bins – are more problematic than they are helpful. In the end, they all just lead to more… stuff. You never actually get rid of anything!
Her solution? One massive, no-holds-barred cleaning sweep. Lose anything that doesn’t bring you joy, anything that doesn’t contribute to your overall purpose in life. Though it sounds complicated, it’s really a simple process – you can read more about it in her book.
Created by the minds behind BNeato Bar, the Numbers and Need method is…well, exactly what it sounds like! Simply go through your house and, room by room, determine how many of each specific type of item you have. For instance, do you have 18 coffee mugs? Do you really need them? Unless you have 16 children or you’re running a B&B, chances are you’re never going to need more than, say 4.
Once you start, you’ll be surprised at how many of each item you actually have. When you pull out all your DVDs, or all your pens and pencils, or all your summer shoes and pile them up together – it can be astounding. People often accumulate things without realizing how much they have.
Organizer Fay Wolfe believes that de-cluttering isn’t just about the actual stuff you have laying around the house – it’s also about what’s in your mind. Of course, we all want a neater home – and that’s what we’re here to talk about – but organization doesn’t start by sorting things out. It begins by sorting YOU out.
Fay believes that disorganization is the product of a cluttered mind – fear, excuses, reasons for not beginning the process – and you can’t sort out your stuff until you sort out your thoughts. Her book is all about developing the basic skills to help get you started.
What are your thoughts on decluttering? Have any of these methods worked for you? Let us know in the comments!
2018 selling season is upon us! If you have clients getting ready to put their home on the market, the list of to-dos can seem endless. You may wonder if it’s all worth it, but the fact is, a well-cared-for house shows better. Plus, small issues like flaking paint or a dripping faucet can make buyers wonder what bigger problems await them down the road. Don’t let easily-fixed issues derail your selling process.
Here is a list of 8 things you can do right now to ensure a great first impression:
Keep up yard maintenance
It can be tempting to ignore the lawn and walkways, especially if the client has already vacated the property, but this is the first thing a potential buyer will see. Grass, weeds, and overgrown shrubs can create a sloppy, unkempt appearance before the buyer even looks at the inside of the home. Keep things neat and tidy for a good impression up front.
Clean the gutters
Overflowing gutters can lead to cracked walls and damage to the foundation, in addition to just looking messy. The last thing you want a potential buyer to see is water pooling around the outside of the house, or worse – in the basement. Routinely check for leaves, pine needles and other debris that can lead to unsightly – and dangerous – leaks.
Service the heating/cooling system
If the HVAC system hasn’t been used in a while, it can smell funky when you first turn it on, make frightening sounds, or just straight-up not work – none of which leave a great impression. Before showing a home, have the heating/cooling system serviced, clean the ductwork and filters, and make sure everything is in good working order.
In addition, if there is a working fireplace, take care of that at the same time. Clean the chimney to remove any dirt or debris, and block off the flue to avoid and unwanted houseguests (squirrels and bats just love to come in uninvited!).
Replace all the lightbulbs
This is one of those things that is so super simple to do but often overlooked. Imagine taking a client for a showing after dark, flipping on the switch in the master bedroom … and nothing. For a very minimal investment, all light bulbs in the house could be replaced and any embarrassing incidents avoided.
Wash the windows
Dirty windows and screens can be quite unappealing and leave a bad impression on anyone looking at your house. Cleaning all the windows, sills, and treatments will not only make the house look neat and tidy but will allow in the best possible natural light.
Fix up any interior cosmetic imperfections
Chipped paint, dents in the drywall, and scratches in hardwood are easily fixed but can make a poor impression. A buyer doesn’t want to see a lot of little problems that they’ll have to fix down the road. It is not only an inconvenience for them, but makes them wonder about what larger issues may lie hidden in the house.
Deep clean and declutter
The difference between showing a home that has been cleaned and staged and one that has not is night and day. Clean the floors, polish the furniture, put clean linens on the beds – and, most of all, make sure the kitchen and the bathrooms are immaculate. These two areas, more than anything else, are scrutinized by buyers, and they will judge. After all, would you want to bathe in a moldy tub?
Appearance is everything when it comes to selling a home, and with just a little time and effort, you can make sure you get the most out of every single listing.
For over 40 years, Windermere has been putting relationships before sales quotas. Part of that is our unwavering support of our sales team. Our community of real estate professionals is our greatest asset. They are the reason we can offer better service than anyone else in the market, and we aim to keep it that way. We strive to not only hire the best people but to give them the best tools – from innovation and technology to professional development.
At Windermere, we take a holistic approach to agent education. What does that mean? Providing them with systems and tools proven to increase profitability, making them industry experts, and teaching them to give the type of service a client expects. With onsite live-learning workshops, online training, and weekly coaching right in the office, we make sure all bases are covered.
Some of our Professional Development courses include:
Get Your License:
For those considering a career change, our pre-licensing course offers everything needed to complete training, take the state exam, and get licensed. Our revolutionary approach to learning makes it easy to succeed. Other benefits include:
- Age of content – We frequently update our material, offering only the most innovative ideas and learning approaches
- Online forum – delivers content in an engaging and interactive way, on your schedule
- Education methods – we use the latest in adult learning science to develop a revolutionary experience
- Pass rates – we pride ourselves on having one of the highest pass rates in the industry
- Money back guarantee – pass your state exam or get your money back, guaranteed
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re a seasoned pro, we endeavor to help you meet your goals at every step of your career. At Windermere, we have something to meet everyone’s needs, whether you prefer working in the classroom or online. CE courses are available for every state, with topics including everything from CORE training to client engagement. In addition, we believe that part of great success is giving back. So, with every purchase you make, we donate a backpack of food to help feed a hungry child in your community.
If you’re looking for a life-changing course, this is it! In just four days, you will receive a plan and process for creating a sustainable business that thrives in every market. Our strategies are derived from the researched and documented methodologies of the nation’s top real estate agents. The Ninja process has been shown to increase agent profitability by 35.87% ahead of the market!
- Creating an effective marketing plan
- Building your database
- Working with sellers
- Working with buyers
- Evaluating property
Through a partnership with Windermere, our agents receive a 30% discount on Katie Lance’s nationally recognized program. This social media program, tailored to meet the needs of real estate agents, has helped hundreds improve their business. Benefits include access to an extensive online library, a private Facebook group where you can get advice from other members, and live monthly Q&A sessions.
Our programs reflect our commitment to providing our agents with the best training in the industry. It is because of them that we are able to provide our buyers and sellers with an unprecedented level of service, seldom seen elsewhere.
Windermere Certified Listings is a one-of-a-kind, customer-focused real estate program. Our mission is to provide superior service to all our clients throughout the selling process. This truly unique system was designed to reduce the uncertainty and friction that commonly occur during a typical real estate transaction, making it rewarding, predictable, and enjoyable. Throughout the process, both our home sellers and the end buyers feel unmatched confidence and peace of mind.
Our thorough 10-step process includes the following:
A 5-Point Pre-Inspection of the Major Components of the Home – Our exhaustive process helps assure the buyer that there are no major surprises in store and gives the seller an opportunity to correct issues before the house goes to market. Inspection points include:
- Roof – general conditions, skylight, and flashings
- Exterior – general conditions of siding, sealants, grade and drainage
- Mechanical – furnace, air-conditioner, water heater and water main shut-off
- Electrical – main distribution panels and sub-panels
- Structural – trusses, joists and foundation
Professional Home Cleaning Package – Every home is completed by a professional team of two or more house cleaners. The detailed process includes:
- Cleansing of most surfaces
- Floors vacuumed, scrubbed, and mopped
- Bathrooms cleaned including tubs, sinks, and toilets
- Home staging (in select regions) to eliminate clutter, rearrange furniture to enhance flow, and create a notable first impression.
Our professional photographers will provide you with vivid and beautiful images designed to sell your home faster. Professional real estate photography is proven to increase showings and lead to speedier sales. Each photo passes through over 25 enhancement and processing steps to correct lens distortion, white balance, perspective, and saturation. No other company combines art and real estate in this way!
Top-notch marketing is a necessity in today’s fast-paced, technology driven world of real estate. The National Association of Realtors found that 75% of people start their home-buying search online – that’s why in addition to traditional methods, we include a solid real estate internet marketing plan as part of your overall strategy. Our multi-level, multi-platform real estate marketing plan leaves our sellers assured that their property is receiving the best advertising possible. Examples include:
- Professionally installed sign
- Expertly designed and printed property brochure
- Social media marketing
- Virtual tour for buyers to view online
- Open house marketing in local venues
- … and much more!
Selling a home can be stressful. Let Windermere save you time and energy by handling all the worrying details. With us on your side, you can sell with confidence knowing that everything has been taken care of.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
At Windermere, we take great pride in the service and support we provide to our sales agents. Through many conversations with our team at Windermere East, it became clear that we needed to focus more on builder services. A number of them had spent their entire career focusing on new home sales but felt that they needed a little more reinforcement. Our solution? We created an entirely new division.
Our Builder Solutions program brings deep sophistication and builder expertise together. For our sales team, it serves as a foundation, allowing them to provide outstanding support to our builder partners. For our partners, it offers professional marketing, sales, and operational support through all stages of new home sales.
How do we do this?
We have the best sales manual in the country.
We can safely say that our sales training manual blows all the rest out of the water. Ours is the only sales manual to come out in the last 5 – 6 years, and it’s based on the most up-to-date consumer patterns. To create it, we brought together leaders from various national builder companies and merged and purged the best tools they had to offer. The manual is delivered through a web portal, so training can be conducted onsite wherever you are.
We find ways the agents themselves can drive onsite traffic.
Sales agents spend a lot of time sitting around in the office – that’s a fact. We figured out how to convert that downtime into traffic-driving activity. Our Sales Associate Marketing Initiative (SAMI) gives agents activities they can do onsite to help drive traffic. This not only helps the bottom line, but it gives agents a sense of empowerment by influencing their own performance with minimal time invested.
We increase conversion through our NHS Ops Cycle.
This series of reports, including an asset 180, competition studies, a SWOT analysis, and more, is delivered by the sales agent once a quarter.
We run a top-tier online training portal.
Our training portal, New Home Connect, allows all materials to be delivered in person by an agent or online for your convenience. Available courses include POS training, demonstrating product, creating emotional connections, on-target marketing training, driving traffic and much more.
WBS is a proven solution. In one case study, New Home Stars received a 31% increase in performance after introducing the program. We give builders many of the benefits of an in-house sales team, but with the added value that comes from partnering with one of the largest regional real estate companies in the nation. The results benefit both builders and buyers of newly constructed homes.
With more than 7,000 agents who operate in markets throughout the Western U.S. and Mexico, Windermere knows your market. We draw upon the expertise of these local agents while providing them with state-of-the-art new home sales tools and resources. The result is hyper-focused attention on new home sales combined with a local presence across all the markets where our builder-clients do business.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
For years now, the economy has been extremely sluggish and hard to predict. But now, things seem to be heading in the opposite direction with bright prospects on the horizon. This is especially true of the real estate market that is starting to show signs of bouncing back significantly.
In the Metro Denver area during 2016, there were over $22 billion in total sales, which translates to a 9% increase from the year before. Because of the vigorous sales, more people are looking to cash in on this by putting their house on the market. More houses is an opportunity for more real estate agents, which means Windermere Real Estate is expanding.
We now have five offices and are looking to recruit people who are interested in choosing a career in the exciting world of real estate. We are currently recruiting for our 4 locations that have opened this year: Boulder, Littleton, Aurora and our new expansion in Palm Springs, California.
For years, the Denver area has been a hotspot for real estate development and listings. But now, the market is expanding into formerly underdeveloped areas such as Littleton and Aurora. Windermere is expanding with those areas. As the market expands and we grow with it, we are also looking for people in the area who want to develop their skills in the real estate industry. We do this through a multi-prong approach.
First, we offer a variety of educational and training opportunities at all of our branches. That means, no matter what area you are located in, there should be a training program that you can get into. Additionally, these professional developments are available in a variety of formats including short seminars and online sessions. We try to be flexible with our opportunities for people to grow with us by giving them every opportunity at all of our branches.
Windermere feels that real estate is a business model that is a great way to create your own pathway to financial independence and success. The expansion of these new offices gives even more opportunities for people to get in on the ground level of what could possibly be the next burgeoning housing market in the country. Through our various programs now in both Colorado and California including our Leadership Academies, you can begin a new career in a field that you can truly allow you to thrive.
Your business plan is the GPS for your career. It’s the path that will lead you to success, and one you shouldn’t ignore. Knowing the steps to take when business planning can make all the difference in the outcome. These tips will help ensure that you are on your way to success.
Develop Attainable Goals
You should figure out your personal, business, and financial goals.
Personal goals will cover where you want to improve, things or events you want to save up for, something you want to try, etc.
A business goal can be something as simple as becoming a better public speaker or as complicated as building a detailed marketing plan with email automation and getting in depth with social media advertising. Education and development also falls under this umbrella. You should always be learning something about your business.
You’ll need to know your current lifestyle and living expenses. Then figure out how much you budget for advertising and other business expenses. A basic list includes email marketing software, desk fees, commission splits and transaction fees, printing costs, Facebook advertising, website and landing pages, NAR dues, and more.
Next, you’ll want to set aside a lead generation and nurturing budget. Email marketing and automation is a great place to start. Will you use postcards, door hanger campaigns, billboards, or sites like Realtor.com? Whatever you decide, make sure you take those costs into account as well.
Financial Plan to Action Plan
Once you have your expenses, it’s time to develop a realistic financial plan. Take your total expenses for the year and divide by twelve. This gives you the amount you need per month to maintain your lifestyle. You need to determine how many deals you must close to reach that monthly goal. Let’s say you require 26 deals a year to break even. That’s one close every two weeks. If you have variable expenses, add one or two more closes to compensate. This is the point where you determine if you’re being overly ambitious.
Now that you know how many you’ll have to close, it’s time to figure out the number of leads you’ll need to generate per week. Consider the idea that it will take 30 warm leads to generate one close. Cold leads, those who are months away from purchasing a home, may take even more. In our example, we would need 15-30 warm leads or 40-60 cold leads per week.
Now it’s time to create action steps. What will you do every week to ensure you gain new leads? It’s time to figure out how you stand apart in your area. You want three to five action items per day. Engagement on social media, cold calls, and creating automated sequences for your mailing list are just some ideas to get you started.
Once you have a warm lead, it’s up to you to convert them into clients and close deals. It’s a good idea to know your competition, average sales and rental prices in the area, local demographics, and more.
Remember that your business plan is a living document that adapts with you. As your business grows, it’s normal to shift strategies, reevaluate goals, and make changes to your plan.
Keep your business plan close at hand and go over it every quarter to ensure you maintain your goals.
Windermere has always prided itself on three basic principles: hire the best people, give them the best tools, and create thriving communities. Windermere Denver provides a proven process for business growth and development. Our systems and tools are designed to increase your profitability while enhancing your industry expertise so you can take your business to the next level. We do this through quality education, interactive support, by keeping your training focused, and providing an elite experience you can’t find anywhere else.
We have always placed a priority on education. Each course is taught by industry professionals who bring integrity and expertise to the classroom and online. We know that every phase of your career is critical, and we’ll guide you every step of the way.
We offer multiple professional development locations within Colorado to fit your needs. From half-day courses to week-long workshops, and network-wide symposiums, we give you the connections and personalized training that only a live, in-person setting can provide. Here are several locations where we offer our services:
- Cherry Creek
Windermere offers pre-licensing and continuing education courses in several education centers within our network. A majority of these courses are state-approved, so you get quality education while satisfying mandatory education requirements.
Your life is busy, but that doesn’t mean your education should suffer. Windermere has partnered with OnCourse Learning to provide our agents access to Continuing Education courses through their ProSchools and Career WebSchool campuses. We also offer supplemental courses and additional training for certain states in our Pre-License classes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you choose in-person classes or online training, our support network is second-to-none in helping you stay on the path to success.
Whether it’s through our education programs or our Leadership Academy, Windermere prides itself on helping you find your path to success. Several of our programs offer customized one-on-one coaching. Our community is dedicated to maintaining quality and integrity, and we are devoted to ensuring your continued education and development.
By using innovative tools and technologies, we can hone our skills to keep up with today’s mobile-focused buying experience. Our Professional Development programs ensure that our agents receive only the best training in the industry.
Our proven success systems are based on many years of real-life, on-the-ground experience. Our Leadership Academy is one of the ways we do this. We want to help you and the agents in your office lead an inspired, high-performing, and profitable life.
Join Windermere Denver today and take the first step toward the career you deserve.
Summers in Colorado can be just as adventurous as the winters. So what is there to do when the days are longer and warmer in the centennial state? The options range from going on a local brewery tour to climbing one of the 53 fourteeners in the state.
If music is your passion, then be sure to check out Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s summer concert series. There are also numerous music festivals offered all summer long throughout the state – the musical options range from underground music, country, classical, bluegrass, classic rock, and even rocky grass.
Colorado is well known for its numerous and beautiful ski resorts. What happens when the snow melts and the ski slopes close? The ski towns and resorts transform to welcome the summer crowd. There are mountain bike trails available for the biking enthusiasts, white water rafting and ziplining options for those wanting a little heart pounding adventure. Looking for something a little tamer? Aspen and Snowmass offers outdoor yoga, and Copper Mountain keeps its chairlifts operational for those looking to take in a truly scenic view.
Want to see the abundant Colorado wildlife and natural scenes up close and personal? With 41 state parks, 22 million acres of national forests, and hundreds of private campgrounds, there are numerous places to spend the night under the stars. With over 60 different ecological systems throughout the state, each night can be different – mountains or rolling prairies are all have campgrounds available for visiting. Check out Camp Colorado to find a campground and make reservations.
Spending time in nature contributes to the overall mental and physical well-being for everyone in the family. In support of this, Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper has unveiled the Colorado Trial Explorer – an online interactive map showing more than 39,000 miles of every hiking, biking, and multi-use trail in the entire state. These trails cut through wildflower meadows, colorful canyons, and even gorgeous waterfalls.
Looking for more of a challenge than a hike? Why not try your hand at a fourteener – Colorado has 53 mountains over 14,000 feet. There are many lists online that include the best beginner 14ers (if you are just starting), the more difficult ones (if you are looking for an enjoyable challenge) and the various gear you will need to bring for each type. Be sure to keep safety in mind before you head out – pack everything recommended, check on weather conditions, and make sure to let someone know where you are expecting to be.
For the novice or experienced birder, Colorado summers offer a chance to spot a wide variety of birds. Check out the Colorado Birding Trail for guides by region on the best birding sites in the state. This non-consumptive outdoor recreation allows anyone, no matter age or physical fitness, to get outside and observe Colorado nature.
If you are interested in the 200 plus breweries in Colorado, there is a plethora of festivals and tours available to check out. In addition to breweries, there are at least 20 different wineries and vineyard in Colorado’s wine country. Be sure to check out the schedule for local festivals featuring the various beers and wines from around the state. In addition, there are tours available from many of the breweries and vineyards.
Whether you are looking for a great musical experience, a wild adventure in the mountains, or a relaxing outdoor experience, summers in Colorado can satisfy a wide range of interests.
Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:
Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate
Road trips are just as much a part of summer as ice cream and days at the pool. If you live in Colorado, you don’t have to leave the state to experience this tradition. Colorado’s amazing vistas, magical scenery and stunning stretches of the Rocky Mountains make this state the ultimate touring dream for car drivers from around the world. Roadside amenities also abound providing incredible recreation opportunities and a chance to see some really amazing sites. Here are 5 great road trips to try out this summer.
Boulder to Rocky Mountain National Park – 75 miles, 4-5 hours
In Estes Park, crash at the Georgian-style Stanley Hotel, which dates back to 1909. Be sure to take the $15 guided tour to learn about how the property played a critical role in Stephen King’s creation of “The Shining.”
Start the journey in Boulder, known as one of the quirkiest cities in the West. There’s always some sort of cultural activity going on. Day 2 in Estes be sure to get out of the car and explore Rocky Mountain National Park. The most popular hike here is the 14-mile round-trip climb to the top of 14,259-foot Longs Peak. This is not for the laid back hiker, though as you must leave at 3 a.m. to be off the mountain by the time thunderstorms move in later in the day. As an alternative, head out MacGregor Avenue toward McGraw Ranch for an easy 3-mile round-trip hike that follows Cow Creek to Bridal Veil Falls.
Trinidad to La Veta – 110 miles, 6-7 hours
Dating back to 1876, the 17-room La Veta Inn mixes history with comfort in kick-back, Old-West style.
For a look at local archaeology, visit the Louden-Henritze Archeology Museum in Trinidad. The museum has artifacts from nearby Trinchera Cave. For information about more modern times, check out the Santa Fe Trail Museum and some of the city’s historic homes. Later, on State Route 12 at Cucharas Pass, look for incredible views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Dikes, yellow-colored rock walls that were formed by volcanic forces inside the Earth more than 400 million years ago. In La Veta, check out the adobe buildings of Fort Francisco, which dates back to 1863 and today boasts a museum with artifacts from the 1700s.
End the day of learning with a homemade cinnamon roll at the Ryus Avenue Bakery, the only bake shop in La Veta.
Mesa Verde to Hovenweep – 480 miles, 3-4 days
Saddle up and spend a while at the Circle K Ranch in Dolores. The ranch offers comfortable accommodations and horseback-riding equal quintessential Old-West relaxation.
Begin this archaeological adventure at Mesa Verde National Park, home to 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 dwellings carved into the cliffs. The best-known rock home is Cliff Palace, a 150-room site with an estimated community of more than 100 Anasazi residents. From here, head south on 160 toward the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation, where members of the tribe provide guided tours through ruins located inside Ute Mountain Tribal Park. Finally, just east of the Utah border, Hovenweep National Monument protects 6 Pueblo-era villages with stone towers that have stood for more than 1,000 years. Four of these villages are in Colorado, 2 are in Utah.
Palisade to Eckert – 200 miles, 2-3 days
Start your trip along I-70 in Palisade and head west. Along the way, sample sweet wines from Carlson Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in the state. Winemaker Parker Carlson also makes wine from local fruit such as peach and cherry. On Day 2, in Olathe, visit Cottonwood Cellars, then double-back to Delta to explore the Gunnison Valley. For a different kind of tasting, visit the Peak Spirits Distillery in Hotchkiss to try organic gin. Before heading home, stop in Eckert at Surface Creek Winery, which makes full-bodied merlot and features an impressive gallery of watercolor paintings from artist Dale Russell Smith
If a road trip sounds appealing, check out some of the great sights and exploration opportunities listed above.
Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice: